Yesterday I spent the day at our watermelon stand, selling melons. Our stand is outside. The temperature was in the 90s and the humidity was pretty high as well. Like a genius, I forgot my water bottle and for some stupid reason, I wouldn’t go to my sister-in-laws and get another one. I may have drank 30 ounces of water all day.

This morning I headed out for my run. I was planing on going 5 miles today. (Last week because of too many long days, I only ran 3 times, for a total of 10 miles.  That has me very stressed out.) I opened my Charity Run app and noticed a new charity,  National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Since my oldest brother, Chris has MS, I chose it, hit Run on my Garmin and headed out with Gus. 

I had started about an hour later than I had planned. Late days doing farm chores, also means that laundry and housework doesn’t get done either and I was trying to get caught up on that too. It was already hot and still. But hey, I felt good, I was going to set the world on fire in my Hokas. Yeah, I was ready to kill the hills. 

Since I chose not  to drink anything yesterday, I paid dearly for it today. My muscles tightened up and my legs felt like 500 pounds of lead. I couldn’t ever get my breathing lined out and wound up short of breath for most of the first mile. I was doing out and backs, so after mile 2, I was back at the house. I got some water, and decided to head back out. I just couldn’t fail this morning.

About a 1/2 mile up the road, I was pretty sure I was about to die. Every part of my body was aching and I was light headed. I was ready to quit. Then I remembered what charity I had selected this morning and why. I was running for my brother. My big brother who had protected me all during childhood. The brother that wouldn’t let my other 2 brothers or anyone else pick on me. The brother that did my chores the summer I had a mini bike wreck, cut my knee open and had stitches, then had a bicycle wreck 4 weeks later and had even more stitches.  My brother who is only 56 years old and has been in a nursing home for 7 years. My brother who cannot walk, stand, eat, or drink on his own. My brother who can’t hold his head up or use the restroom on his own. My brother who can barely speak. My brother who would give his right arm just to be able to pick up a stupid pencil and write his name. 

I ran 3 miles, I walked the rest. Am I disappointed in my run? Yes. But I am more disappointed in my attitude.  Disappointed because of my stupidity yesterday. Disappointed that I thought the world was going to end if I couldn’t run 5 miles this morning. Wait …. I ran 3 miles. Then I got myself cleaned up, dressed and went to church. I was able to wrangle the 6 preschoolers in my class, sing hymns and bow my head without help from anyone.  There are millions of people that would give anything to be able to do even one of those things. Chris is one of them.

If you haven’t already, please, please download the Charity Miles app on your smart phone. You don’t have to run to use it. You can walk or bike. Even if you are just working in the yard or out shopping your miles will add up and can help.

This is Chris and me, circa 2001.


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